Men over 40 develop excess fat or excess tissues in their chest area which many call man breasts, once you’ve ruled out seeing a doctor for a possible underlying condition or hormonal imbalance, its time to get rid of those man breasts by using a combination of training and nutrition.
This is going to be a 2-part series with this article covering how to get rid of man breasts with exercise and part 2 covering how to get rid of man breasts with diet.
For now, lets focus on the exercises you need to do:
1. Train the Chest Muscles
Strength training will speed up your metabolism and sculpt your chest muscles. When strength training to target the chest muscles it’s important to use a pressing movement that targets the whole chest.
Two of the best exercises you can use are flat/incline barbell bench presses or dumbbell presses. Choose ONE of these exercises to begin with and increase the resistance over a period maintaining perfect exercise form.
- Lie back on a flat or incline bench.
- From the starting position, breathe in and begin coming down slowly until the bar touches your middle chest.
- After a brief pause, push the bar back to the starting position as you breathe out. Repeat the movement for the prescribed amount of repetitions.
- A 3/3 rep cadence works well.
Although you can’t spot reduce man breasts using exercises, by sculpting the chest using compound movements, you’ll develop a nice plate of armour on your chest that will look awesome when the fat comes off.
2. Use push-ups and variations of them
The great thing about push-ups is you don’t need a gym to perform them and they’re beneficial as an addition to your compound movements.
Push-ups target the chest muscles and the smaller areas around them, making them a complete chest movement.
They’re best performed after your main compound movements or on your non-weight training days as they demand less from your recovery machinery.
- Start in a high plank position.
- Place hands firmly on the ground, directly under shoulders.
- Lower your body maintaining a flat back
- Keeping core engaged, exhale as you push back to starting position.
3. Do exercise variations
Changing up exercises prevents your body from stagnating and getting too used to the same movement patterns.
By periodically changing the exercises you can keep progressing. For example, let’s say your major compound movement for the chest is the incline barbell press and it’s stalled i.e. you’re not able to add more weight or perform more reps you could change to the incline dumbbell press, flat dumbbell press or flat barbell press.
All these exercises train the same muscle group but using a slightly different muscle stimulus, kick starting progress once more.
Note, it’s better to stick with ONE exercise long enough to really get the best benefits before changing the exercise again.
4. Stick to compound exercises
A lot of men over 40 think they can spot reduce man breasts with a few exercises that target the chest muscles, while that’s important its much better to think of this as a longer-term strategy. In that respect using a variety of compound exercises that target the entire body will ultimately result in getting rid of man breasts.
When you train your legs, your back, your arms and shoulders as well as your chest, your whole body will be in shape, ultimately revving up your metabolism and banishing man breasts.
Compound exercises are best for men over 40 as they have the most dramatic effect on the male hormonal system, boosting testosterone and training more than one muscle group in one movement.
This means you can drastically improve your body composition without spending hours and hours in the gym for very little in return.
The problem with doing lots of isolation exercises is they don’t have any impact on the male hormonal system, cut into your recovery and simply aren’t worth your time investment.
5. Do cardio at least 2 x per week
Cardio is just as important as weight training, as you build strength and lean muscle through weight training, cardio will help you rid the body of excess fat and ultimately burn fat from around your man breasts.
When you lose fat, you lose it all over. Choosing an exercise that keeps your heart rate elevated between 70-90% maximum heart rate for at least 2 sessions per week is the way to go for losing fat.
The mistake a lot of men make is thinking if a few cardio sessions per week is good then more must better, but too much cardio releases a stress hormone called cortisol.
When you release cortisol, it’s very difficult to lose fat and your weight training workouts will suffer. Remember you need weight training to elevate your metabolism and burn more body fat.
It’s a nice balance of training you need i.e. three strength training and two cardio sessions per week. There’s nothing wrong with performing steady state cardio on the cross trainer or bike, the great thing I love about steady state cardio is it doesn’t interfere too much with your weight training, burns fat and doesn’t make you too hungry afterwards.
A lot of men resort to high intensity intervals to lose fat, but the problem here is they can make you very hungry afterwards, the last thing you need if you’re trying to lose fat.
High intensity interval training also demands more of your body and thus you’ll need more time to recover.
6. Get enough rest
Rest is just as important for losing fat and getting rid of man breasts. Studies have proved that when you’re deprived of sleep the more cortisol (stress hormone) your body will produce and the more you’ll crave food.
By getting enough sleep, you’ll improve mood, energy and ultimately crave less food, controlling hunger and making fat loss a lot easier.
7. Use the power of walking
Walking is a super powerful way of burning extra fat that will contribute towards ridding yourself of man breasts.
If I go for a walk I’ll aim for a walk of approximately 3 miles or 40-60 minutes of brisk walking. Or I might break it up into two smaller walks, each of 30 minutes.
The wonderful thing about walking is you could kill two birds with one stone, plug in an audiobook and still burn a decent number of calories.
A 3-mile walk will burn approximately 5 calories per kg of bodyweight, so if you weigh 80kg you’ll burn 400 calories.
The best thing about walking though is it won’t cut into your recovery from strength training like high intensity exercise will.